It has been a trying week. Nothing seemed to go as planned. Drama and misfortune permeated the atmosphere. I just wanted to escape.
Yes escape, but not in a fog of self medication. This had to be soothing, yet adventurous. I had the urge to travel in mind and imagination away from my daily grind, trials and tribulations. I wanted to be here but feel as if I was somewhere else - just for a little while.
There's nothing new in that. Long before recording, TV, even telephones, science fiction writers would sell dime store novels that allowed the reader to escape, at least for a few hundred pages, into an exciting parallel universe of the unknown where the physics of reality were a bit skewed.
One of the best of these early escapist tales is "A Journey To The Centre Of The Earth", written by French born science fiction writer Jules Verne and first published in 1864. It would later be published alongside other Jules Verne works, such as "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea" and "Around The World In Eighty Days", as "Journey To The Centre Of The Earth." Verne's stories explored impossible feats and journeys into the then unknown. The tales are yarns and speculations about what man would find should he undertake these journeys or perform these feats. Verne was writing at the start of the Industrial Revolution and there was a sense that man would soon turn these speculations into scientific fact.
Rick Wakeman at Gonzo